Lenin in Essen

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Wed Mar 14 07:04:00 MST 2001

Charles Brown wrote:

>>I wouldn't conclude that because Doug wrote a book on this that he
>>has thought longer or has more erudition on the subject of the
>>dynamics of capitalism in our age than others on this list.

>I would.



I don't think we should be too down on Doug's book, it was highly successful
and went thru several paperback editions. I enjoyed "Wall Street" which is a
good example of left-keynesianism, with all the virtues and limitations of
that genre. And Doug's pedigree as an analyst greatly helped the book. The
pyscholoanalysis of money is always an interesting topic and perhaps more so,
the psychology of people for whom it is important.



CB: Mark, I'd say Doug's book is good as far as it goes.  But in the context of
comparing it to Marxist analysis of the current period, it is something like Hobson's
writing that Lenin used for analyzing the early 1900's.  Marx used bourgeois political
economic analysis , and had to use government statistics of course, and so did Lenin.
But as far as I can tell, Doug is uncertain about whether he is for the overthrow of
capitalism.  Neither Marx or Lenin approached bourgeois political economy or
statistics doubting that they were writing to contribute to socialist revolution. On
this basis, Doug's book doesn't measure up to the Marxist standard, which is in the
first place for socialist revolution, without skepticism.

The final step in this logic is that my impression is that Marxism-Thaxis has a
membership that is for socialist revolution. So, in this regard , the rest of the list
has a "longer thought" on capitalism than Doug takes in his book and otherwise. When
we consider "erudition on the dynamics of capitalism" , we must always ask , "in
relation to what ?"  Helping the capitalists manage the business cycle , as most
economists do ( and quite successfully these days) ? or to provide the working class
with a weapon in its struggle with the capitalists ?  If it is not definitely the
latter it is not full erudition about capitialism , for really understanding it, would
lead one to conclude that socialist revolution , overthrow of capitalism, is
necessary.  Skepticism about this is evidence of lack of learning.

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